By Marin Sorescu 1936–1996 Marin Sorescu

Translated By Gabriela Dragnea, Stuart Friebert, and Adriana Varga

Oh you saints,
Let me enter your society,
If only as a statistician.

You’re old,
Perhaps the years are
Getting you down by now,
Laying themselves over you
In layers of color.

Just let me take care
Of your dirty work in
All the nooks and crannies.

For example I could
Swallow light
At the Last Supper
And exhale your halos
After the devotionals.

From time to time,
At a distance of half a wall,
I could
Form my hands into a horn
And shout,
Now for the believers,
Now for the unbelievers
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Marin Sorescu, "Prayer" from Hands Behind My Back, translated by Gabriela Dragnea, Stuart Friebert, and Adriana Varga. Copyright © 1991 by Oberlin College Press.  Reprinted by permission of Oberlin College Press.

Source: Hands Behind My Back (Oberlin College Press, 1991)

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Poet Marin Sorescu 1936–1996

POET’S REGION Eastern Europe

Subjects Christianity, Faith & Doubt, Religion


In 1964 the Romanian government relaxed its censorship policies, signaling a new openness to free expression. The nation's poets heeded that signal, and Romanian poetry experienced a striking revival. Poet and playwright Marin Sorescu is perhaps one of the most popular figures to emerge from Romanian literary culture in the years since.

Sorescu writes in a plainspoken, down-to-earth style spiced with sly humor. He responds to . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Christianity, Faith & Doubt, Religion

POET’S REGION Eastern Europe

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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